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The Mysteries of London - Volume 2

George W. M. Reynolds

Book Overview: 

The Mysteries of London was a best-selling novel in mid-Victorian England, published in four volumes. This is the second volume. Initially serialized in weekly installments, they were the forerunners of today's soap operas. Known as "Penny Dreadfuls", they had no claim to literary brilliance but offered readers entertainment and excitement in the form of vice, poverty, wealth, virtue, mystery and scandal in every combination and reached a mass audience.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ro knew that it was well for that man to give way to the good feelings which the contemplation of humanity and philanthropy in others had so recently awakened.

But Richard did not perceive that, while the executioner was giving utterance to the invincible promptings of nature, Gibbet had drawn near,—had listened to his father with indescribable interest,—had drunk in with surprise and avidity every word that fell from his lips,—and had gradually sunk upon his knees in the presence of that benefactor whom even a rude, brutalized, and savage disposition was now compelled to believe to be something more than man!

"This, sir," said Benstead, glancing his eyes around, and touching Markham's arm to direct his attention to the scene,—"this, sir, is doubtless a welcome reward for all your goodness."

Richard hastily brushed away a tear, and raising Gibbet from his adoring posture, said, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

The Mysteries of London, vol. 1and 2, was the biggest book I have ever read. Well over two thousand pages. Took me about a month to read, and I enjoyed the book. George Reynolds is a better Victorian author then the "scholars"give him credit. Villains, heroes, prisons, romance, war, mystery, melo...more

Sigh... This turned out to be unexpectedly a series that fell from a very high pedestal the first book had taken it to because of a poorly handled second book. If I'd been impressed by and praised Reynolds' notable balancing of multiple narrative arcs and a cast of characters fit to challenge a t...more

Volume One was a five star read for me and volume two started off in the same vein, but gradually I lost enthusiasm. I think that 1) it just went on too long (each volume is 1,000 pages) 2) the baddies were hellishly bad and the goodies were superhumanly good and accomplished which became a littl...more